The best books about civil war 📚

Browse the best books on civil war as recommended by authors, experts, and creators. Along with notes on why they recommend those books.

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Book cover of American War

American War

By Omar El Akkad

Why this book?

As someone with strong American family roots, though I’m technically British, I was fascinated at school by the American Civil War. In part this interest was spurred by Margaret Mitchell’s extraordinary book Gone With The Wind, which I read in the school sanitorium while enduring a cataclysmic dose of chickenpox – but which serendipitously helped me get dazzling results in my History O-levels a few weeks later. Later, I read extensively around the subject, fascinated by Shelby Foote’s Civil War trilogy and by Ken Burns’ 1990 PBS series, Civil War. Which is a long way of building up…

From the list:

The best green science fiction books

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Book cover of The Dragonbone Chair

The Dragonbone Chair

By Tad Williams

Why this book?

This book introduces a very good series and was responsible for encouraging my love of science fantasy – some of which I write. While I have tried to keep away from more famous authors, this one got through because it really is that good.

As with all good science fantasy, it has various levels, some of the deepest making one think, or you can just go with the flow and enjoy the yarn. That is something I also strive to do with readers, well, I try to.

From the list:

The best fiction books for curious minds

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Book cover of Escape From Zulaire

Escape From Zulaire

By Veronica Scott

Why this book?

This is another action-packed adventure where a soldier has to rescue a civilian from a planet about to erupt into civil war. What's nice about this one is that the hero needs rescuing as much as the heroine – but in a very different way. The romance is an integral part of the story and evolves in a natural way. I loved the way the stakes ratcheted up until impossible choices were on the table. 

From the list:

The best science fiction romance books filled with action and adventure in the stars

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Book cover of Waverley

Waverley

By Sir Walter Scott

Why this book?

To understand the trauma caused by the Napoleonic Wars, and the craving of people in France, Europe and elsewhere to return to the ‘normal pace of times’ as the Austrian Statesman Clemens von Metternich had it, Walter Scott’s ‘Waverley’ is the best vehicle to convey ourselves into the mindset of the contemporary Europeans. Europe had to curb the ‘evil passions’ and had to ‘come to its senses’. Just as Waverley’s young hero Edward does by letting go of his romantic love for the rebellious Flora and returning in the arms of his very English, quiet and harmonious fiancée, Rose. Scott’s…

From the list:

The best books on how Europe waged peace after Napoleon

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Book cover of Land of Jade: A Journey from India Through Northern Burma to China

Land of Jade: A Journey from India Through Northern Burma to China

By Bertil Lintner

Why this book?

Bertil Lintner’s many books on Myanmar were essential background material for me when I lived there doing my own research on the country’s never-ending civil war. Land of Jade is a vivid and insightful study of Myanmar’s conflicts, and my favorite of his works. In 1985, he struck out to walk on foot from India, across northern Myanmar (then Burma), and eventually into southwestern China. The journey was the first (and likely only) time a journalist would undertake such an arduous, dangerous, and unforgettable trek.

His hosts along the way were a bewildering array of rebel groups at war against…

From the list:

The best books on the human toll of civil war

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